Since my last computer broke down, I have been borrowing a small Dell-computer from work. This had a Intel i5 CPU and 128GB SSD. No mechanical HDD or graphic card wasn’t really a problem when just developing with an text editor.
…But then I bought a Drone and started with video-editing… I also started playing some Counter-Strike GO with my friends this summer to reminisce the good old days. But 20-30 fps in CS:GO wasn’t really that fun.
My goal was to build a small mid to high-end PC for under 10.000 NOK (around $1.250).
Finding a small form factor tower
My 3 year old boy hijacked my office 🙂 So I have my computer setup in my living room for now. Therefore I needed a small and silent tower. The Dell I was using, was the same size as an VHS-cassette and finding something that small to build an middle- to high-end computer in, was a problem.
I found two towers that I felled in love with, the SilversStone Raven RVZ02 and Fractal design Node 202 – but none of these is available for purchase in Norway until around December. So I landed on the Cooler Master Silencio 352.
(SilverStone Raven RVZ01 exist, but I don’t like the plastic look – and there was some problems fitting all components in some of the reviews I looked at. RVZ01 looks like an first edition of this form factor – and it felt kind a early to try this case.)
The Silencio 352 wasn’t so small, but good enough if I wanted a computer right now.
Rest of the parts
TOWER/CASE: Cooler Master Silencio 352
PSU: Corsair CX 600W PSU Modular
Modular and cheap.
MEMORY: Cricial DDR3 BallistiX Sport 16GB 1600MHz
Recommended under the motherboard.
GRAPHIC CARD: EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB
Good enough for my use. Also, most of the high-end cards now, is more intended for GPU password-cracking – than regular/gaming usage.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
CPU is the smallest bottleneck in a computer, so didn’t need anything higher. I also have an i7 on my server I can use for video-rendering if needed.
MOTHERBOARD: MSI B85M-E45
On the motherboard I was mostly looking for the one with most USB-ports, as most of the mATX cards only had 4 USB-ports.
CPU COOLER: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler
Bought this to cool down the CPU with minimal RPM to reduce noice.
FAN CONTROL: NZXT Sentry 3 Fan Control
On the reviews of the motherboard, they said that there was only one fan-connector. My actually had two. But I bought the Fan control to have more fans and more control to reduce noise.
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
To run Windows and other applications on.
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA 6GB/s
Storage for large local files, as my network-storage is a bit slower to work from.
I have never seen any point in overclocking for regular usage.
Since the beginning of the computer revolution, the CPU has been far in front from the other components. The HDD has to write instructions to the memory, through the motherboard BUS and the memory needs to hand off these instructions to the CPU. Modern CPU’s has cache (L1, L2…) to speed up this process.
The only benefit of high CPU would probably be video-rendering, as password cracking has moved to the GPU. There is a lot of videos on YouTube, that is testing if CPU overclocking is improving games and the answer is mostly no. One of the videos improved the avrage gaming FPS with 1 in most games, with an overclocked CPU.
Total sum: 9756 NOK = YES.
Size: The tower was small enough to place it behind my 27″ monitor = OK.
When I adjusted the graphic in CS:GO to middle/high, I got an avrage FPS on 160 that peeks up to 200.
I would actually classify this computer as high-end (not will agree with me here) – Any higher than this, I would name «extreme» for enthusiast 🙂